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Old December 27 2013, 05:59 PM   #9
USS Triumphant
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Re: What does a New colony need?

Frankincense + Myrrh wrote: View Post
Growing flora and fauna does not require a powerful energy source, a replicator does.
There's this big fusion reactor called "the sun" that is pretty heavily involved there - perhaps you've heard of it?

I can't see any reason why, just looking at the way the technology is supposed to work, you can't replicate seeds, food that tastes just like the original food it copies, or animals (including the sentient animal species like humans, Vulcans, etc, and without them being evil versions of them, either.) But I get that, story-wise, the limitation is generally there to prevent rampant copying of crewpeople and all sorts of other story elements that would probably just get out of hand for the kind of stories they want to tell.

So assuming that limit, I'd say you need:

1. colonists
2. a planet suitable for the colonists (probably but not necessarily M-class)
3. the parts for some manner of power producing tech (solar panels, fusion reactor, etc) suitable to power at least one industrial replicator IF you aren't planning on landing your colony ship(s) to use their reactor(s)
4. the parts for an industrial replicator IF you aren't planning on landing your colony ships and they have one or more onboard.
5. (semi-optional) Any specialized gear that may be too large to replicate needed to extract valuable resources (dilithium or latinum, for examples) from the planet.

You'll note that I'm STILL not including food stuffs in this list. It isn't that I don't think the colonists need food, obviously, but it seems to me that there are several ways of handling this, and not all of them require bringing anything with you.

1. Replicators. Okay, sure, the food produced may not be the greatest, but neither was the deer jerky and such that the Pilgrims survived on - and I've never heard anyone suggest that replicator food isn't *nutritious*, so suck it up, Princess.
2. As a *Federation* colony world (assuming you are), you can almost certainly just put yourself on a list for food cargo drops until you have made yourself self-sustaining. The Federation is wealthy enough in resources to do this, no problem.
3. Seeds and bees and animals (to produce fertilizer, even if you are against eating meat from living animals) from your native environment (or their analog from your world, there, Tholian ). But as I pointed out in 1 and 2 here, this isn't urgent.
4. Genetically modify *native* plants and animals to make them nutritionally compatible while keeping the planet as close to original as possible. This may also have the advantage of immediately providing you with a valuable export - the new variety of wine or cheese or whatever that can be made exclusively with your new resources will surely please the crap out of intergalactic wine and cheese (or whatever) snobs everywhere - and *of course* they will just be dying to have some that isn't replicated.
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